Who’s the Opening Act?

I saw a billboard yesterday along I-24 in Kentucky promoting an upcoming Josh Turner concert, with The Charlie Daniels Band as the supporting/opening act.

I’m a Josh Turner fan; I really am. We share an alma mater. This post has nothing to do with Josh Turner and his obvious talent and success in the music world.

What it does have to do with is taking a look at the (painful) difference between music as a business, and (someone’s) very important musical legacy.

Let’s be honest. Do you really think that Josh Turner feels justified in having Charlie Daniels open for him? To be clear, that means The Charlie Daniels Band plays first, then Josh Turner is the headliner. I get it – Josh Turner is a “hot” artist right now. He’s being played more by Country radio (currently) than Charlie Daniels is. He has multiple hits, “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” etc., that translate to Turner being the “current” artist with the “current” success.

Again, this is not a slam on Turner. I’m looking at a bigger issue that (should) bother (or at least occur to) a lot of us.

Charlie Daniels is unequivocally a living music legend. In my opinion, he could have only written “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” and still be a music legend.

From his bio, here are a few career highlights:

-Resume includes recording sessions with: Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger

-His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette

-“The Devil Went Down To Georgia” was a platinum single, topped both the country and pop charts (specific charts not stated), won a Grammy Award and earned three Country Music Association awards

-Charlie started the Volunteer Jam, and artists that have performed at this annual event through the years include: Little Richard, Don Henley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Allman Brothers, Roy Acuff, Billy Joel, Steppenwolf, B.B. King, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, James Brown, among many others 

Maybe Charlie hasn’t had a big radio hit in a while. Maybe his “face” isn’t appealing to our wonderful media culture. Maybe his politics don’t line up with your’s. 

I’m just struggling with the legend opening the show.


4 thoughts on “Who’s the Opening Act?

  1. I bet Charlie doesn’t even think about it. Once you have proven yourself, there’s nothing left to prove. Why not play, see the fans, make some bucks, keep the band employed…etc?

    Also, great strategy to ride the coat tails of whatever is hot at the moment. Cause next year there will be another star, but there is only one Charlie.

  2. I completely agree with you on this, especially if Charlie really doesn’t think about it, which is probably the case. And regarding Josh Turner, we all know he has a tremendous respect for those that have paved the way.

    Good stuff. Thanks for the comments.

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